When I came into PT Elite, I was almost a decade in my injuries. I was only 29 but years of big mountain competitive skiing had taken a toll on me.
I’m not really sure why I even searched out PT Elite, I guess there was this smothered fire within me, barely still alive, that was yearning for a miracle. I had had the best surgeons and best physical therapist in Salt Lake City and Steamboat Springs, CO – both orthopedic injury hot spots. I was three knee surgeries deep, all scopes on my meniscus. They had left me with about 15% of my meniscus left in my left knee and about 30% in my right. I was told that everyone had done everything they could do for me. The pain, the weakness, it all made sense. My cartilage was all but gone. I’d done the best I could and found the best people to help me.
It was a slow decline – emotionally and physically. I’d lost my identity when I was so weak and in so much pain that skiing wasn’t fun anymore. I moved away from the Wasatch to cope and try and figure out who I was without the mountains. I’d lost my soul, my fire, my happiness. I didn’t know what to care about and what to put my energy into. I loved the outdoors and I couldn’t go out and enjoy them. I did a lot of yoga, chiropractic work, and tried to modify and compromise in my activities and movements. It got to the point where walking a block in tennis shoes hurt and I couldn’t stand in the kitchen long enough to cook dinner. Pain = bad , swelling = bad Right? I spent most of my time off my feet, icing, hoping to preserve what I had left for the rest of my life.
Injuries are hard. Injuries for athletes can be life altering. Your passions, your happiness, and your identity are all intertwined within your sport. I felt handicapped. All I could see was what I couldn’t do - it overwhelmed me and controlled me.
Dog walk with a friend? No
Leisurely hike? No
Vacation? Do I have to walk….then No
When I walked into the clinic that first day and Jess and Jen asked me to tell them what was going wrong, I broke down into tears. I didn’t want to relive the last ten years; I just wanted to be okay with where I was now.
PT to me had always been the same. You go in, they move you around a little bit, take you through some exercises and you’re on your way. I’ve never heard of manual therapy outside of a deep tissue massage. I would say one session at PT Elite was easily equal to 4 sessions anywhere else. Within my first couple sessions I had lost about 7lbs of water weight from chronic inflammation and tissue binding. That huge change out of the gate is what gave me hope…… Hope, now that’s a scary word. I’d spent so many years adjusting to the new me that it was absolutely easier to stay where I was than to hope again and maybe be disappointed.
Growth, healing, strengthening, change, all take patience!!! Lots of it. My injuries didn’t evolve over night and they weren’t going to get better overnight. I cannot stress patience enough. I’ve seen Jess and Jen for 1 year now – twice a week for 9 months, than graduating to once a week. You have to be dedicated and invested and own your responsibility in your recovery. I’m certain had I not found Jess and Jen that I would have never gotten better because no one offers the level of care they do. I’m so beyond grateful to them – they’ve given me my life back – how do you even say thank you for sometime like that?
Jess and Jen are some of the most amazing women I’ve ever known. They’ve taken it upon themselves to fix what is broken in the healthcare system and give us all the best care possible. They have to not only bear the financial burdens of not participating in the insurance game, but they also have to re-educate the population to what physical therapy is and should be and why us, as patients, should be looking for more out of our healthcare providers.
It makes my heart so full when I’m in the clinic and I watch them with all the other patients. They genuinely care about every single person’s life, story, health and goals. They’re personally vested in doing everything they can to help you get to where you want to go, and maybe even places you don’t realize you can.
Where am I today? Running for the first time in a decade – something I thought I’d never do again and was unhealthy for me. Enjoying skiing – happy tears all the time, my heart is full. Dog mom – after three months at PT Elite walking didn’t hurt anymore and Jess assured me it wouldn’t again – pending any new injury of course ☺. So since I was capable of walking a little hound, I finally got the dog I always wished I could. Vacations – walking around and exploring was never an option, now I’m not limited.
Oh and you know that endorphin high you get when you’re crushing? Well I was so broken I couldn’t get to that point, now I’m pushing and getting stronger and enjoying every moment of it.